Photos Reveal How Nashville Skyline Has Exploded in Under a Decade

Nashville Now and Then
Nashville in 2015 (top), Nashville in 2024 (bottom).

A photographer went viral after she posted two pictures of the Nashville skyline taken nine years apart — highlighting Music City’s rapid growth.

The photo caught the attention of Nashville residents and lovers of the city after photographer Penny Adams shared it on her Instagram profile.

“What does being an ‘IT’ city look like?” Adams writes. “Look how much the Nashville skyline has changed in nine short years.”

Adams visited the same location she had photographed Nashville’s center from in the summer of 2015 and the skyline has more than doubled in size. After taking the photo, Adams was shaking her head in disbelief.

Nashville Now and then.
A closer crop showing Nashville in 2015 (top) and how it is today (bottom). In 2015, the skyline ended with the William R. Snodgrass Tennesse Tower (far left). In 2024, a whole new city has sprung up to the left as we look at the photo.

Adams, whose day job is a pet photographer at the Williamson County Animal Center in Franklin, Tennesee, says that she’s always trying to find a unique vantage spot.

“I can’t even count how many buildings are in The Gulch now,” Adams says of the trendy, upmarket neighborhood that has spearheaded Nashville’s expansion.


Adams’ photo has sparked a debate over the city’s speedy development — with some unhappy at how fast things are changing.

“Too bad the City allowed the growth in such an unsustainable way,” writes Nashville music photographer Sayre Berman. “There’s growth, there’s smart growth and there’s irresponsible growth. Nashville opted for the last in that list”

But Adams tells News Channel 5 Nashville that from all the comments under her photo the one thing that resonates is people’s passion for Nashville.

“Either they desire days gone by and wish things were a little different or they are excited about all the growth that’s happening today and they’re along for the ride,” she tells the television station.

“The heart of the city is the people and I hope that doesn’t change; the sense of goodwill toward each other.”

“And you know, I always hope for cheaper parking but it is what it is,” she adds.

It’s Not Just the Skyline That’s Changed

Much like Nashville’s skyline, camera technology has evolved with Adams taking the 2015 photo on a Canon 5D Mark II DSLR camera and the more recent one taken on a Canon R5 mirrorless camera. But both photos were taken on a 24-105mm lens.

And whether people like the expansion of Nashville or not, Adams says she’s been “blown away” by the response to the photo and is selling prints which can be purchased here.

More of Adams’ work can be found on her website, Facebook, and Instagram.

Image credits: Photographs by Penny Adams.